This final week of January is our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. We have a long and proud history of Catholic education here at our parish. This is a good time to celebrate our mission of passing on our faith tradition from one generation to the next. Student representatives from the St. Isidore School community will extend a “Thank You” to the parish at the beginning of each Mass this weekend for your support of the parish school. The Grade School Choir will also serve the larger parish community by leading us in music at the 8:30am Mass. It is encouraging to see so many of our young people serving the parish in the different ministries of the Mass. They will continue their celebration at their school Mass on Wednesday at 8:15am in the church. Various additional activities are planned for each day throughout the week. We offer our prayers and thanks for our teachers, administrators, staff and all who share in the ministry of Catholic education.
Congratulations to our parish 2nd graders who celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time this past week. Services were held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and Saturday morning. It was great to celebrate this wonderful Sacrament of God’s healing with them and their parents. Congratulations also go to their parents and teachers who brought them to this special moment in their lives. We look forward to their First Communion celebrations in early May during Easter Season.
Thank you to all who joined with me in taking the NEXT STEP in their stewardship journey and responded to our Stewardship of Time Renewal last weekend. Our Renewal came at a good time as we are focusing on the Stewardship Pillar of Prayer this year. Our greatest prayer, the Mass, is so rich that we can all find ways to deepen our appreciation and commitment to the time we spend together in the prayer of the Mass each week. The Renewal brochure also listed a number of additional activities ways in which we can grow in our personal Stewardship of Time. If you weren’t able to make your recommitment last weekend, please do so as soon as possible. Additional materials are available at the Parish Office and the Hospitality Desk.
We conclude the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity today. Since 1968 we have joined with other Christians throughout the world in praying as the Lord prayed, “that all may be one” (John 17:21). Throughout this past week we have kept the cause of Christian unity before us in our community prayer.
We join with the rest of the parishes of our dioceses today in responding to the annual appeal for the Church in Latin America. This is one of eleven extra collections taken up over the course of the year for the support of the needs of the larger church community. It is an important way for Catholics in our country to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters to the south whose pastoral and material needs are great. Thank for your generosity in responding to this appeal.
Looking ahead, we have a wonderful opportunity for coming together during the cold winter months. Our St. Isidore Dinner Dance and Silent Auction – “Magic Carpet Ride” – will be held on Saturday, February 21st at the Klein Creek Golf Club on Pleasant Hill Road in Winfield. It promises to be a wonderful mid-winter evening spent with fellow parishioners. Additional information is available elsewhere in the bulletin.
Once we get past the holidays, January seems to be a very long month. It can seem even longer when the Bears end their season before the playoffs, as they did this year. Even though the days are gradually getting longer, the winter has had a few difficult moments. Next Sunday we begin the shortest month of the year. Can spring be too far off? May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy